Copper workers demand action against violators

Srinagar: Angry over the intrusion of machine-made copper items, copper workers Monday held a protest demonstration against what they said government’s inaction to act against the violators of the law.

Demanding justice, the protesters said the famed copperware industry of Kashmir was on the verge of extinction due to the intrusion of the machines.

 Scores of workers under the banner of ‘Copper Workers Trade Union’ assembled here in Press Enclave Srinagar and demanded stringent action against those who use machines to produce copper untensils.

Under J&K Prohibition and Manufacturing of Specified Copper Utensils by Machine Act 2006, manufacture of cooper utensils by machines is prohibited.

President ‘Copper Workers Trade’ Muhammad Yousuf said they had been rendered jobless by intrusion of machine made copper items being sold openly in markets despite official ban.

 “Our ancestral trade is being taken over by sub-standard machine items which are being passed to customers as genuine handmade copperwares,” Dar said, adding that the state government has failed to initiate action against the people/firms manufacturing copper items by machines. 

He said that more than 50,000 skilled workers including their families in Srinagar were earning their livelihood from copper work, “but now the use of machine-made items has rendered them jobless.”

“Kashmiri artisans were known for producing excellent products of copperware consisting mostly of cooking pots and samovars and sundry articles for the household or the mantelpiece, but the machine has snatched from their living,” he said.

The protesters said: “The machine-made items, which are being sold at cheaper rates, defame our revered craft as these items are inferior in quality,” he said. 

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